Ep 90 – Born Again Mike

Written by on July 13, 2014

Randy has made a new friend — Mike, a Born Again Christian who left a comment on our website here:
Born Again Mike just wants Randy to be fair and open-minded and let the evidence lead him where the evidence will (aka unto Christ). How will Randy respond? Scott, Alison, and Glenn join Randy to figure it all out.

  1. Steven   On   July 14, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Looking for a NeverMo? Have you guys ever checked out this youtube channel, she is a JW or was at one point http://www.youtube.com/user/ApostateChick
    I don’t know her, but she talks about many of the same issues you guys do. Someone from the podcast should reach out and see if she would like to join the discussion.

  2. Born again Mike   On   July 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    i have not listened yet (but i will) but love the title, im thinking of having a personal licsense plate made. im like a celebrity:)

    • Glenn   On   July 14, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      If you do get that licsence plate made, I have a suggestion on who could make it for you (yo, I’m Prison Mike!)
      (that will make more sense once you’ve listened)

  3. Born again Mike   On   July 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Now I’m really watching my spelling and punctuation closely
    you guys are brutal! O.k. so first of
    all I am not young I am 46 and I have
    been born again since I was 30. I am uneducated (did not graduate from high
    school) but Gods plan doesn’t require degrees to understand, its actually so
    simple even a child can get it. I just try to use common sense (Common sense sound
    and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts) I
    copied and pasted that from Webster’s dictionary, see not as dumb as you thoughtJ ,
    I am also not very computer savvy, I don’t have a Facebook account , I never
    comment on stories on the web and it
    took me a couple of days just to figure out how to create an account so I could
    post my original comment. And yes I type this in Microsoft Word than I copy and
    paste to your page. O.K. so that’s out of the way…..
    I definitely did not mean to offend anyone by
    recommending you read the New Testament , it wasn’t meant to be condescending . And the version of the Bible I copied and
    pasted was the English Standard Version (Im not to good at the old English in
    the King James version so I use a more
    recent English) they also have a Pigin
    version which is local “slang” from Hawaii
    here it is
    John 3:16, 17
    16 “God wen get so plenny love
    an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy,
    so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life
    dat stay to da max foeva. 17 You know, God
    neva send me, his Boy, inside da world fo punish da peopo. He wen send me fo
    take da peopo outa da bad kine stuff dey doing.
    Cool huh?
    Anyway I just want to address a couple of things as quick as
    possible, Now I understand that the date
    and authorship of the Bible is huge that’s why it has come under such attack in
    recent years. There was a comment Randy made about Mathew , Mark and Luke just showing Jesus as humble servant just a
    nice guy and then John writes his Gospel and “POW! ZANG! ZOOIE! “I am God look out” and he took issue with
    Luke’s account of the census that
    brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem . God said in Isaiah “Come let us reason
    together” . I think we decide what we
    believe and what we don’t , so what we
    have is early church leaders , Men who studied under the apostles or knew them
    like Papias and Irenaeus and others confirming Lukes authorship of this Gospel
    . Luke was a friend and ministry partner of Paul. So we have early writers
    confirming Lukes authorship and we have a guy who published a book 6 months ago
    saying “those guys are wrong and I’m right” ……. Common sense tells me and I
    choose to believe the early church
    writers. So I will copy and paste the
    start of Lukes Gospel from the ESV (English Standard Version)
    Luke 1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to
    compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses
    and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3
    it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some
    time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
    4 that you may have certainty concerning the things
    you have been taught.
    So Luke is stating what he is writing came
    from eyewitnesses. Lets take the census
    Luke 2
    In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world
    should be registered. 2 This was the first
    registration when[a] Quirinius
    was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be
    registered, each to his own town.
    detailed , he names Caesar Augustus and the governer of Syria so the people he
    was writing to would know when and where this was, secondly when Luke wrote
    this people who took part in this census were still alive, therefore if he is
    lying or mistaken he loses credibility right off the bat. This census would have been a major
    undertaking of people going to there ancestral
    homes. I don’t think people would have forgotten this , he also says
    this was the first registration so this probably went on for years.
    lets take the POW ZANG ZOOIE issue ,
    again I will copy and past from Luke chapter 7
    Soon afterward[c] he went to
    a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man
    who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a
    widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her
    and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14
    Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he
    said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[d] gave him
    to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and
    they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has
    visited his people!” 17 And this report
    about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
    O.K. lets break this down, Luke is always
    very detailed in his accounts, Jesus ministry only lasted about 3 years and
    Luke names the town so it wouldn’t be hard to pinpoint a date of this “event”
    for the readers of this letter , then he says a large crowd followed Jesus and
    there was a funeral procession and another large crowd followed it. Jesus stops
    them and brings a man back to life….again large crowds is the key and the
    report spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. Lots of people
    heard about this. So again the people who followed him who were from who knows
    where and the crowd from the town of Nain were mostly still living when this
    letter was written. How silly would Luke be if this never happened?
    Christianity would have died right then and not have spread like a wild fire
    throughout the world like nothing else ever has in the history of mankind!!! And this is how it is throughout the Bible Jesus never did anything in secret it was
    always in front of crowds, and people, places and towns were named for all his miracles .
    Do you smell what I’m cookin?
    Paul wrote of Jesus after his resurrection
    “ Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most
    of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.”
    I just want to
    quickly address the “legend” issue, I think C.S. Lewis didn’t put the “legend”
    option on the table because of common sense. Let me explain. The way I see it
    there are two ways for legend s and myths to come about , one way is if the
    event in question happened in front of large crowds you have to wait until
    those people are dead and maybe even the people who knew them are dead, maybe a
    couple hundred years or so. Or two, just off the top of my head …..uh a guy
    says he went off into the woods to pray and god showed up and told me that im
    awesome and everybody else sucks and you need to sell all your possessions and give me the proceeds and oh yea he also
    told me you need to hand over your wives and daughters so I can have sex with
    them, sorry dude god said. Then write a book about events that happened so long
    ago nobody can dispute them.
    The miracles of Jesus
    happened while the readers of these letters
    were still alive it couldn’t be legend or myth so that wasn’t an option
    it wasn’t a choice you have, to say things Jesus said about himself he had to
    be a nut job, insane, or God.
    Look sin is the
    issue, we have all willfully done bad
    things in our lives, we need forgiveness and God has provided a way
    for us, the only way, there is no other
    way to remove our sins than the blood of Christ. He came because he loves us,
    and he wants to save us. Just like Adam and Eve had to choose to in the garden
    so we have to choose today to except Gods offer .
    Im no better than
    you im just a beggar telling another beggar where to find food.
    So in closing
    remember that the existence of God isn’t based on our beliefs. If I don’t
    believe in God he doesn’t just stop existing and vice versa if I believe in God
    he doesn’t leap into existence. God is God no matter what I believe about him.
    Im praying for you
    guys that God opens the eyes of your hearts and see the Truth. (Jesus said “I
    am the Way the TRUTH and the Life and no
    one comes to the Father except through me” )
    God Bless, Born again Mike out!

    • Glenn   On   July 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Mike, we’re just gonna have to disagree on almost everything you wrote here (except the Joseph Smith reference — I’m with you there). I have a PhD (abd) in Folkloristics from Indiana University, and I can tell you that your common sense approach to legend formation is just wrong (but I won’t bore you with the details). Follow Randy’s suggestion — read a Bart Ehrman book — try to verify the Biblical “facts” from independent critically scrutinized sources — the truth should stand up to any criticism, right?
      As for God’s plan being so simple a child could understand it, I think we have someone here who agrees with you:

      • Born again Mike   On   July 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm

        Folkloristics? seriously? you can get a PHD in that? holy cow what did that cost you? And what does a job as a folklor-tician pay? seriously tho ive had many of these conversations over the years and it is sad how few turn out well , good luck to you guys
        see ya

      • Glenn   On   July 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm

        It wasn’t cheap, and most folklorists find work teaching or in museums. But I landed a really nice job in a completely different industry — one where I travel all around the world and work with people from all different cultural backgrounds. My education taught me better ways to understand the relationships between people — their values, their identity, and their beliefs — and the many (many many) forms of traditional culture that informs, supports, and validates those things. It was incredibly eye-opening and well worth the investment in time, mental energy, and money, and it helps me in pretty much every aspect of my life (including my career).
        If by “turn out well” you mean that we become “Born Again” then yeah, that’s not going to happen. But it’s still possible to learn from each other even if we strongly disagree in other areas (but a comment thread on a website for a podcast like ours isn’t really the best way to do that — check the contact tab above and send an email if you want to take this further).

    • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Mike, I really like you. You are sincere and passionate about your beliefs and I appreciate passion. But what you are calling common sense is actually called credulity and your credulity is focused on your culturally accessible faith tradition which has been arbitrarily determined by your time and place of birth. There’s a whole big world of thought out there outside of fundamentalist Christianity. I challenge you to explore it. I’ll echo Glenn’s challenge to read a Bart Ehrman book. Also look up the word pseudepigrapha. Since most of the Bible is pseudepigrapha it will help you understand why your points don’t resonate with us and give us credulity regarding “Luke’s” testimony.
      Cheers mate.

      • Born again Mike   On   July 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm

        i will read one of Ehrmans books but believe me the Bible has been under attack for thousands of years
        Ecclesiastes 1:9
        “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
        Im guessing its the same old “they say this guy wrote it but he didnt”
        or “all the nice stuff is original but the miracles were added in later”
        but i will read one

      • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

        Excellent. Return and report (if you were an exMo, you’d probably chuckle at that).

    • Zac Erickson   On   July 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Kudos to you for being so passionate, Mike. I study the brain and behaviour in a University setting, and I wanted to share a bit of information that might help you understand how the legend theory really is the most likely explanation.
      Let’s start with an example (its a true story, btw): there was a murder case many years ago in which a boy watched his father get gunned down in a drive by shooting at night. When he was asked to pick someone out of a line-up, he was 100% confident that it was a specific person. The man went to jail for several years, but he always claimed he was innocent. After science understood more about how memory works, one scientist actually went to the crime scene at the exact time of the murder and reenacted the crime. When they took a judge out there for the reenactment later, he was surprised to discover that unless the boy who witnessed the crime was a foot away from the man who fired the gun, it would have been too dark for him to see him. It was literally impossible for the eyewitness testimony to be a valid reflection of the facts. How is this possible?
      Our brains are really REALLY good at doing one thing: making connections between different things that we experience. Put simply, when we experience the sound of a grumble in the bushes, followed by the sight of a bear in the trees, we associate those two things together. The next time you hear that grumble in the bushes, your brain says “Oh crap! A bear!” and you want to run away, even if you haven’t seen a bear.
      Interestingly, that connection-making happens without us even being aware of it. When we try to remember complex situations, we don’t remember everything. Instead of retrieving a broken memory, however, our brain REALLY wants to fill in the gaps. If, while you’re trying to remember something, your brain will pull in other experiences that are somewhat related, and you experience this as a fully formed memory. This is why the guys were saying that eye-witness account isn’t a valid evidence on Jesus as accounted in the Bible.
      So you proposed two ways on why legends don’t explain the increasing “WHAM POW” factor of the Jesus story:
      (1) If the event happens in front of a large crowd, there are too many witnesses that would have to die before the exaggerations could spread. – I’ll address this first. Ever heard of a fishing story? How the fish the guy caught was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big?! People LOVE to tell stories, and they love to impress other people. The truth is much less important than how impressive your story is, and large groups of people would only feed off of each other’s stories. “You saw him heal a blind guy? Well *I* saw him heal 10 lepers!”
      “Oh yeah, well *I* saw him raise someone from the dead!”
      “Oh yeah?! Well *I* saw him get raised from the dead himself after he died!”
      You get the idea. Now for your second option:
      (2) He can’t be a legend because…Joseph Smith? I’m assuming you mean that he can’t be a legend because people would have had to make up a story to deceive people, and then people would have to accept that story as truth and then buy into it and hand over control of their personal lives because they love this legend so much. I agree, actually, except for the fact that this is very much what could have happened with Jesus. I haven’t read up on current theories on the origins of the New Testament, but I DID read the Da Vinci Code (groan, I know…). The concept that people re-purposed a legendary folk hero known as Jesus of Nazareth into a tool of control AND inspiration to use against lower-class citizens is a VERY likely scenario.
      I’m not trying to tear down your faith here, Mike. If you want to believe, that’s fine. However, if you want to experience truth, you need to consider all angles and pieces of evidence. Its not your fault that you aren’t exposed to everything the world has to offer, but Google is at your fingertips and will change your life, if you let it. 🙂

      • Born again Mike   On   July 17, 2014 at 3:55 am

        Eyewitnesses not a valid witness? I think the AMERICAN justice system would disagree with that, anyway how bout 2 eyewitnesses? How bout 5? 7? Ok 12. How bout a large crowd? How bout as many as 500? If I was a trial attorney with 500 eyewitnesses I’d be sitting pretty. Again I’ll say Luke was very specific about details , if Luke was telling whoppers or stretching the truth I think he would of at least been vague like Jesus was traveling in this one place one time and he raised someone from the dead” but as it is if he was telling story’s or stretching the truth the people in those towns and synagogues would have said “what”? “Do you remember that”?
        Ok let’s take something we can agree on ,the results of these events and the words written in the Bible , the church exploded like nothing else ever had before or since ,of all. The gods and religions since or after, the. Bible well let’s just say circulation is off the charts and how did this happen ? Well the original writings were no big deal but 150 years later some guys ( that we have no idea who) added some whoppers in ther about people coming back from the dead and boom! It went crazy ,

      • Born again Mike   On   July 17, 2014 at 6:10 am

        simon greenleaf was one of the original proffesors at Harvard law school who was an atheist and on the challenge of a student became a Christian. He wrote a book called the Testimony of the Evangelist and this is the first part of that book.
        In examining the evidence of the Christian religion, it is essential to the discovery of truth that we bring to the investigation a mind freed, as far as possible, from existing prejudice, and open to conviction. There should be a readiness, on our part, to investigate with candor to follow the truth wherever it may lead us, and to submit, without reserve or objection, to all the teachings of this religion, if it be found to be of divine origin. “There is no other entrance,” says Lord Bacon, “to the kingdom of man, which is founded in the sciences, than to the kingdom of heaven, into which no one can enter but in the character of a little child.” The docility which true philosophy requires of her disciples is not a spirit of servility, or the surrender of the reason and judgment to whatsoever the teacher may inculcate; but it is a mind free from all pride of opinion, not hostile to the truth sought for, willing to pursue the inquiry, and impartiality to weigh the arguments and evidence, and to acquiesce in the judgment of right reason. The investigation, moreover, should be pursued with the serious earnestness which becomes the greatness of the subject–a subject fraught with such momentous consequences to man. It should be pursued as in the presence of God, and under the solemn sanctions created by a lively sense of his omniscience, and of our accountability to him for the right use of the faculties which he has bestowed.
        i googled the story of George Washington and the chopping down of the cherry tree which I heard recently was found to be a myth. what I read said that the reason it was found to be a myth was someone researched to find the earliest account of this story and they found there was only one and it was written 10 years after George had died and it was an interview a writer did with a former nieghbor of the Washingtons, they also found this neighbor to be an unreliable source and for that reason they deemed that the story probably was a fabrication. All that to say this, that is the way all history is verified you look back to see the earliest writings and see what other writers maybe reference the writings things like that, it seems that this style of research applies to all history except when it comes to the Bible. To research the Bible it seems you guys go to, as you say “I havent read up on current theories about the New Testament”? you want to verify dates and authors of ancient documents and you want to read up on the latest theories on human behavior? what? why would you read theories about the new testament? look i think we agree that at some point in history these letters were written correct? so just do this, forget about religion, forget about miracles for just a moment and research to find out when these letters were written and who wrote them thats all , just like the historians did to verify the Cherry tree incident use the same technique .
        and you say that the stories of Jesus were “oh yea, well “i” saw him…… but like I said the writers said “a large crowd in this specific town saw” basicly it was never “I ” saw but it was more like “we” all saw. it was never hidden or in a cave. When Jesus was arrested and questioned by the Jews they asked what he was teaching and he said “why do you ask me what i was teaching ? the things I taught I taught openly and publicy in the temple, why dont you ask the people what I taught”? it was always publicly. So if Luke says “Jesus said in the Temple at this specific festival blah blah blah , and it wasnt true the people who were there would know he was lying , anyway I hope this helps
        see ya

  4. Zac Erickson   On   July 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Great episode as always, Infants! I’m currently wrapping up an MSc in behavioural neuroscience, and I just wanted to take issue with Randy’s argument as vampire bats having a “moral code.” As a preface, I realize I’m being “that guy,” but this is just me sharing my love of science to you. 🙂
    I study rats, not bats, but referring to them as a “society” is anthropomorphizing. A more proper term would be “social group.” Also, there is no evidence of the ability of bats to understand the concept of “fairness,” they just hate when their fellow bats don’t share because it that would mean that they don’t get to eat, and that poses a risk to survival. The idea that something is “fair” is a human construct. I’m not as confident in how much primates could be considered to have the concept of fairness, but I suspect a similar argument could be made.
    I understand that the point you were trying to get to was that natural selection over time has favored anti-sharing social behavior in bats. I agree that a similar selection favoring the preservation of both species and individual is at the heart of our morality in humans. The difference in humans is our ability to have culture, which is persistent and evolves much quicker than a species can. Once our ancestors (Adam?! Hehe) were capable of meta-cognition (ie. thinking about thinking and behavior), these self-preserving behaviors quickly evolved into cultural moral codes. Humans are the only species that can communicate and ponder behavior. All other animals can still think, but they don’t know why they’re doing it. Hence the difference between a social behavior that protects the group and a socially derived moral code. I still agree with your basic premise, just wanted to inject a bit more of the “sciencey-ness.” You guys are awesome! Keep it up!

    • Randy_Snyder   On   July 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Well stated. I don’t mind being put in my place when I overstate but I think you got my point that social animals develop social behaviors and once we developed our prefrontal cortex to abstractly conceptualize why these behaviors are for the greater good, morality was born. More plausible than CS Lewis’ argument I think.

      • Zac Erickson   On   July 16, 2014 at 8:04 pm

        Totally agree. Then again…(channelling my inner Glen here), maybe God caused our environment to be exactly what we needed to evolve an innate understanding of his commandments! After all, everything happens for a reason. 🙂

      • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Indeed. God works in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways. There are no coincidences. It’s all part of the plan. Everything happens for a reason. Dinosaur bones were placed there to make it LOOK like evolution is true as a test. God made it LOOK like the origin of species came about through natural selection as a test. All things happen in the Lord’s time. We cannot know the mind of God as Satan learned in the garden. Even though there are stalagtites older than 6,000 years in your nearest cave, you weren’t there to know for sure. Were you theyah? Were you theyah? (my spelling of an Australian accent).

      • Born again Mike   On   July 19, 2014 at 1:28 am

        This is from job which is believed to be the oldest book in the Bible ,what could the writer be describing? You decide
        15 “Look at Behemoth,
        which I made along with you
        and which feeds on grass like an ox.
        16 What strength it has in its loins,
        what power in the muscles of its belly!
        17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
        the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
        18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
        its limbs like rods of iron.
        19 It ranks first among the works of God,

    • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      I listened to it a while back. Like Ehrman, I found D’Souza’s answers either weak or repugnant. For example, 8 million children a year suffer excruciating death by starvation so that rich, white Christians can remember that we need to be more generous?? And free will falls short of answering natural evil. If Jesus is God, it is only he who perpetrates this evil and the millions that suffer from this and Dinesh never comes close to resolving that. D’Souza is good at one thing, clever sounding rhetoric. It’s why he’s a millionaire. But there’s no substance there and he’s not above being disingenuous or even deceptive. I’ve listened to him debate about a half dozen times and I’d have to say he’s my least favorite for your side. Ham, Gish, and Hovind for example may be preaching what I think is crazy, but I believe they truly believe what they’re saying (well Gish is dead now). But I’m not so sure about Dinesh.

      • Born again Mike   On   July 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

        to be honest i havent listened to this but thought you guys might find it interesting, the “why God alows suffering” question will always be a thorn in the side of Christianity because it just cant be answered to anyones satisfaction and never will be. But i have always thought (whether you believe in God or not) that in this country alone we have enough resources to feed the world 10 times over and still have left overs, and enough money in our economy to deliver the goods and influence governments so that there are no deaths from starvation, and thats just this country alone. So some will say why does God allow this and I say why does mankind allow this, (in my opinion) God has given us ample resources to make sure this doesnt happen and yet it does. To me it comes back to what Jesus said ” love your nieghbor as yourself” I love myself enough to make sure i never get hungry and that i have a place to live and clothes on my back so why do I allow 8 million children to die without lifting a finger?

  5. Mike B.   On   July 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Hey guys! First off, I continue to love your pod casts (I’ve listened to all of them). The entertainment you infuse, through cool editing, enables someone, like me, with A.D.D., to get in to the episode even more. Thanks for great work! In response to a question posed on this episode; I am a former Mormon (lots of Mo-cred and former full-time CES), very well-read and educated, a skeptic, very well-versed in logical fallacies, psychology, relationality, and I enjoy all fields of science (I promise this is not a self ‘appeal to authority’. Just a little background.) I do not give credence to any apologists, and, yes, I have studied from multiple sides and perspectives. And, yes, I still believe in God and that Jesus is divine. (While I’ve read some of the many books mentioned on this episode, I now have a few more to add to my reading list. Thanks!) Anyways, just wanted you to know that people like me exist. I’m not associated with any organization and can’t call myself another ‘born again Mike’. (Maybe I should be another ‘Prison Mike’. Nope, never been to prison, but, I love ‘The Office’.) I do consider myself a Christian. And, yet, I still love to hear all of your insights, perspectives, and sense of humor!

    • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Wow Mike B, I just asked Glenn this very morning if he thinks we have any listeners that are liberal, non-literal Christians. And then BAM!! You post. We gotta have you on. And for the record, the actual title of Ehrman’s book is God’s Problem. We never got it right in the recording. But a review of that book with an exMormon, Jesus-loving, non-literal believer seems awesome. You game?

      • Mike B.   On   July 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm

        See, Randy, no coincidence. Divine intervention, right there! God even works within mysterious atheists, like you. 😉 On a serious note, that’s cool and I’m totally game. You will need to give me time to read that particular book. I’ve read articles and listened to Ehrman, but, not read any of his many books. And, not only am I an ‘ex-Mormon, Jesus-loving, non-literal believer; I live in Dallas, Texas! The headquarters of all things Christian in ‘Merica. Let’s do this! Time frame?

      • Randy_Snyder   On   July 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        How about a month? And have you read the Texas GOP platform for 2014? Grab some popcorn before you read it.

      • Mike B.   On   July 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm

        Yeah, I should be able to pick up the book and have it read within the next few weeks. Let’s keep in touch about it. Oh man, the Texas GOP platform….Ugh. I can’t stand The GOP, in general and here in Texas, it’s on double steroids with a six pack of local beer! A few of my ‘favorites’: The ‘Benghazi Conspiracy’, punishing American born children because of non-citizen parents, climate change is a made up myth, removing money from schools, oh and pornography should be fought hard core by the government. You are right, I should have popped some popcorn before reading it. Governor Perry and his GOP are pure silliness to me.

      • Mike B.   On   August 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Hey Randy, I’m good to go on this discussion of Ehrman’s book. Also, I recommend we include David C. (commented on this thread, as well). He and I have had a few discussions, via email and even met up for a chat this week. Let me know how and when you want to move forward on this. My email is in the comment thread here. Drop me a note and let’s do this!

      • David C   On   July 20, 2014 at 4:52 am

        Mike B,
        Your story sounds like mine. Ex-Mo, Christian, ex early morning seminary teacher, living in Dallas. Where are you at in Dallas?
        Anyway, if you need a second opinion for the podcast, I offer myself up as a sacrificial victim. I’ve read God’s Problem and am familiar with Ehrman’s work.

    • Born again Mike   On   July 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Hey mike you wouldn’t happen to be a Emerging church guy would ya? Are you a fan of Brian Mclaren and Rob Bell?

      • Mike B.   On   July 20, 2014 at 5:20 am

        Hey Born again Mike! I wouldn’t consider myself an emerging church guy. Just focused on living life to its fullest, post-Mormonism and as a unique Christian. I like some of the ideas of Mclaren and Bell. I do lean towards a universalist theology with an emphasis on living according to The Sermon on the Mount. I do focus on Hebrew roots , as well.

      • Born again Mike   On   July 21, 2014 at 12:46 am

        Wow a little bit of everything in there, you believe Jesus is God and you agree with the beatitudes so you believe some of the Bible so when you are personally reading the Bible how do you determine what parts are literal ( or of God ) and what parts are not literal ( or of man)?

      • Mike B.   On   July 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm

        As a lifelong Mormon, I thought that the world was black and white. Every single thing was either of God or of the devil. That is Mormon doctrine and I bought it completely. Now that I’m out of Mormonism, I no longer feel the need to categorize in such a black and white manner. My eyes are now open to the many gray areas out there. So, with the Bible, I am much more interested in behavior (mainly how I treat people because relationships are key in life) than I am concerned with dogmatic theology. I don’t worry about what is literal or not. I actually assume that the majority of the Bible is figurative because that was the modus operandi of Jesus (who primarily taught in Parables). I now simply attempt to put into practice the many great ‘principles to live by’, while cross-checking with multiple schools of thought. My reality has done a 180, where I feel the burden of proof is on God and those who claim to speak for Him. My focus is on centering my life on the ‘two great commandments’ (i.e. authentic love) and allow God to manifest Himself in subtle ways. This is a brief and simplistic explanation, but, the essence of my answer to your question.

  6. Blake   On   July 18, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Great podcast guys!! If I’m not mistaken doesn’t michael quinn still somehow believe in some of the truth claims of Mormonism? He is brilliant and knows more about mormon history than I ever will. I never could figure that one out.

  7. Born again Mike   On   July 22, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Hey guys just an update I am reading misquoting Jesus, I’m on page 32 only but have made a couple of observations. In his introduction he asks some questions about “contradictions”, I can tell you there’s no surprises here in just about any study Bible if you read the notes they deal with these questions pretty well I think. And now we are getting into questioning how the Bible was put together still nothing new, I’ve heard this argument many times. Now an issue I find with his writing that I find with other guys like Rob Bell and Brian Mclaren is how he uses scripture to support his point of view than in the next paragraph attacks scripture. For example on page 32 he writes “sometime before the letter of Polycarp , we know that Christians were hearing the jewish scriptures read during there worship services” wait how do we know this Bart please tell us , well I’m glad ask , he continues ” because the author of 1 Timothy for example urges that the letters recipients pay close attention to public reAding to exhortation and to teaching . As we saw in the case of the letter to the Colossians , it appears that letters by Christians are being read to the gathered community as well. See what I’m getting at? He relies on scripture when he needs it but attacks it when it when it doesn’t support his worldview . Any thoughts?

  8. Born again Mike   On   August 2, 2014 at 2:07 am

    “The vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of differences (in the Bible) are immaterial, insignificant, and trivial. Many of them cannot even be represented by different translations of the (different) Greek texts into English. Probably the majority matter only in showing that Christian scribes centuries ago could spell no better than my students can today.
    and none of the variants would require a radical change of any fundamental Christian doctrine,”
    Who do you think said that? it wasnt me, it was Bart Erhman. in the back of the book no less. (Misqouting Jesus).
    Do you know that he didnt leave the faith because of “errors” he found in the Bible? He said he was still a Christian after that, what he left for was he couldnt explain the suffering in the world.
    He’s what I would call a scholars equivalant to a tabloid reporter. He sensentionalizes (aka lies) about things to sell books. This is surprising to me coming from a teacher. look I enjoy history especially Bible history but this book is not that. I would say if you want to learn about Bible history, like how it was put together and where it came from read a different book. If you hate God and have taken a stand against him and you want to read a book that makes you feel good about the position you have taken, than this is the book for you.
    He says things like “we have no idea what the original manuscripts say”! with all the copies, and all the commentaries on the NewTestament before it was even the New Testament by Church fathers and we have no idea. come on. But then Bart goes on to say how the scibes screwed everything up and all of a sudden he’s a treasure trove of information. He knows everything about these scribes (of which we have ZERO historical info on) he knows there education, there motives, he knows there personal theology im suprised he didnt know what they had for breakfast that morning.When reading this book ask yourself “how does Bart know what the scribes were thinking”? the answer is he didn’t! that would be the fantasy portion of the book.then on page 58 the heading is EXAMPLES OF THE PROBLEMS . He is talking about Pauls letter to the Galations. He says SUPPOSE he made multiple copies. How did he do it?to begin with IT APPEARS that this letter,….. anyway he continues with IF PAUL and IF the scribes filled in the rest, now in these 5 paragraphs we have another LETS SUPPOSE, IS IT POSSIBLE, SUPPOSE, IF , EVEN IF, IF SO, WHAT IF . He uses these words to make his case that scribes screwed up the copies. than after all these “what ifs” he calls them “mistake ridden copies”. Anybody can do “what ifs” what if pauls peeps knew that what he was writing was extremely important? Paul was Gods mouthpiece as he himself said numerous times, what if the scribes (who were fellow believers) understood that? what if they were very careful and took what they were doing extremely seriously? what if Paul proofread the letters before they went out? what if…..
    In the book he points out other peoples findings that date back centuries, there are no findings of his own in here, and as I said before its nothing new , these things are in just about every Bible you buy, in the notes. Christians are not trying to hide these findings. He just stretches the truth on these findings to make them more than they are by making up stories about how these things were copied.
    The New Testament is 27 books written by different authors, written at different times, written in different places, and written to different people all over the middle east and mediteranian. The letters were than copied and copied and translated into different languages and copied and copied like no other book in history…..and than copied some more, Christians were arrested , killed, manuscripts were destroyed, And today? we have over 5000 manuscripts, more than any other ancient book BY FAR, with as many as 400,000 and as little as 200,000 variants (Bart says nobody knows exactly how many cuz nobody has taken the time to count them oddly enough) and as Bart said in the begining of this post these variant amount to basicly NOTHING! thats miraculous in my book. How is that possible without Gods hand in it?
    I believe the Bible is the innerrant Word of God, and by that i dont mean grammaticly correct! yea but this manuscript has more words! and this one has less words! well all I can say to that is God said a lot of words.some people wrote down more of them than others.
    throughout the Bible God uses people to reach people, thats just the way he choose’s to do it. does it always go smoothly? No it never goes smooth, there are always problems because people are involved, but is Gods will always accomplished? YES IT IS. Why did God use Moses to lead his people out of Egypt? (I dont know , he could have done a much better job on his own) in the same way He chose to use people to get his word into our hands, did it go perfectly? no, it never does when people are involved but God allows us to be a part of what he is doing here on earth and thats exciting……to me anyway.
    in closing The Bible says in Hebrews
    “But without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
    Faith is required, if your looking for so much proof that faith wont be required, you will never find it. mine is not a blind faith, God has given us an avalanche of evidence all around us. Notice the verse says he rewards those who “diligently” seek him. What does that mean to you? It doesnt mean just blindly say some prayer and keep your fingers crossed and “have faith”. God says to diligently seek him. I hope you guys respond but I think your tired of me, know that i am praying for you, If your taking your stand against God based on Ehrmans “theories” than, at best, you are standing on shaky ground.
    God bless.

    • FoxyOutFoxYa   On   September 18, 2015 at 5:01 am

      Hi there Mike . I like your writing, and most of what you write. On comment to errors in the New Testament, well, im sure there is, since the most monumental of them is that they are in (for example, the King James version, etc) the same combined book, with the Holy Scriptures, in layman’s terms, the Old Testament (coined that by those who modified the ‘old test’) called such for the insertion into one bible for Christianity. Errors are accidental at least, tho many times , not intending errors, the road to hell is….well you know the rest. What is more troubling , troubling being a severe understatement, even troubling to those who love their faith and bible (Chris, Morman, Cath, …all the Christianty. Saying how the ‘slanting’ by re arranging books in the ‘old’ testament is blasphemy’ and how could that be. I forgot the word for it, I found it on Wikipedia. A word in place of slanting, but given just for what was done on purpose eons ago, and admitted to. no hiding of it. I even had to look in my Tanakh (u can look it up, but know, that the very familiar term at the bottom of the page on many many pages of king james n.i.v. etc bibles, that say ‘Hebrew term uncertain’…thats not there, it is layed out and translated from Hebrew with no modifications from the Hebrew bible thousand years ago….anyways what was done is they took the books , the order that they are originally in, always the same order, of the ‘old test’ esp the end, changing the book for another, the one that is at the end, to have a ‘flow’ where there was never one, into the beginning of the New Test. I mean I dont know how many but around a hundred years btwn last writing of ‘old’ and beginning the New. Jesus is not mentioned in the ‘old’ well , thats no surprise, there was nothing really established or even called Christians for at least 70 years after his death. I joke , Jesus would come back, look around at the devout, uttering Praise Jesus…he’d confusingly state, who are you guys? Wheres my Heb’s” :-). My point, that they wanted to make it flow, btwn end of old and beginning of new bad enough to re arrange order of the old testament, I mean , If one is right, you dont need to modify anything to prove so. But not shocking, being right is a big deal , enough to have prostililsyzers at mass , trying door to door, claiming they are the right thinking, to go their way. Where it is a no no in Judaism to do so, to suggest to others in that way that they are right, and not them. They ‘dont wantcha anyways’ as I say joking…but really, go ask a Rabbi at a Temple about converting, he will turn you away many times. Like seen on Sex in the City when Charlotte tried before she got married. When I first learned of the purposeful modification of the King James, etc was in a Readers Digest book ABC’s of the bible. A non slanted , non promoting any religion look at details and facts about the Holy Scriptures, and the later New Testament. And their cast of characters, timelines etc. Then I looked myself, having both to compare, but when I saw the word for that, and how its ‘out there’, what they did, modifying the order of old test books and why. Whoa was I surprised. Its ok if you dont agree, im not personally tied to the info, but if its right in front of you, where ever you go, like the bookstore to check, or to the horses mouths, since its not debated info when it was never not admitted to have been done. So it is in print and from ‘the horses’ mouth. Have a blessed evening. Take care.

      • Born again Mike   On   September 18, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        WOW!! infants on thrones, this has been a while, Hey Foxy, Im going to have to disagree with you on this, and I think ive already gone into length about my position on the Bible so I wont go into that. And im sorry to say I havent seen even one episode of Sex in the City. I will say (in regards to converts to Judaism in the Old Testament) Rahab was a Caananite prostitute who brought her whole family and they lived with the Hebrews, she married a Jew and is listed in lineage of Jesus Christ himself , in the Gospel of Matthew. Also Ruth , read the book of Ruth. those are just two off the top of my head . “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart” thats God speaking in the book of Jeremiah, so I would encourage you to do just that. I believe people who seek God will find God, those who dont will find excuses .
        The only way to enter Heaven is to have your sins forgiven, the only way to have your sins forgiven is through Jesus Christ and the blood he shed on the cross at Calvary, to pay the price for ALL of your sins and all of my sins. why would God do something like that? “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life”
        there are no other Gods, the mormon god, the muslim god the buddist god….they dont exist they are not real only Jesus can save you .
        praying for you Foxy

      • Born again Mike   On   September 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        hey again, ive been thinking about you for the last couple of days so i wanted to add to what i wrote, as far as references to Christ in the Old Testament all you have to do is google Jesus in the Old testament you will find plenty of references. And (im not sure if your aware of this ) but Jewish people today are waiting for the Messiah to come based on the Old Testament writings, the problem is he already came and they missed him. So even the Jews agree that there are prophecies about the coming Messiah in the Holy Scriptures. In Daniel we are given a very specific number of years from the time of Daniel to the coming of the Messiah so that in the New Testament we find that the people were expecting him to come , such as when John the baptist was preaching in the Jordan the Jewish leaders came out and asked him if he was the Messiah. Also the woman at the well told Jesus that the Messiah was coming soon and he would explain everything. Jesus replied that he was the Messiah. And Harrod knew the Messiah was coming and asked Jewish scholars of the day to tell him when and where, they looked at the scripture and told him not only when but where (Bethlehem) . the time was two years prior so Harrod had his soldier go to Bethlehem and kill all children two years and younger. When Jesus met his disciples for the first time they asked each other if this was the promised one they had been waiting for. So clearly based on these facts the Old Testament must have references to Christ.
        again praying for you Foxy.

      • FoxyOutFoxYa   On   October 5, 2015 at 3:51 am

        Only the Hassid and the Orthodox Jews are waiting for the Messiah. But not Jesus. How many of them do you know. Not counting those who think they are still Jewish but not. The oxymoron Jews fof Jesus and or Messianic Jews. Very few rules on what makes you in most of all Jews opinions and all of Jewish Laws. the thousands of years old Shema Israel, shortened it is Hear o Israel, The Lord is G_D the Lord is one. Or we, like shown in the movie Ten Commandments God is vengeful, in the golden cow scene. I have learned from those in Orthodoxy that Jesus was one of many at the time , men who came and said they were the messiah. The requirements set aside in place for eons already at the time was it must be a messianic age we are in, which is peace all thru the world , I forget the others but none of the requirements were met, and that the closest to it was Elijah. I dont see how Jesus was wrote about when the writing time of the Holy Scriptures (old test) was completed before he was born. Hmm must be retroactive like how those prostylesizers of religion come to convert all at the front door and say how you go to hell without Jesus as your messiah. I asked then, what about the Jews for the 3000 years before his birth….is it retroactive? Are they sent to hell retroactivly. Anyways im GLAD to be of a religion and for me more importantly ‘a people’ and a culture, (im not that religious) that dont push theirs on others, wanting them in their fold I joke saying “ya, they dont wantcha” . But its that evangelism is for Christianity. Oh almost forgot. I cant comment on what is in the Old test when in a king james or niv etc bibles…only I can when it is in its original layout and form and words. Non altered . the altering is a fact you can go to a bookstore and look at both. There are many things in for instance the King James’s old test that never were said and those words are not laid out the same, and or the books are in different order at the end THAT IS provable for sure by going to a bookstore. Look at the Tanakh it is called , then the KJ version. Youll see. Have a good week . ,

      • Born again Mike   On   October 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

        i read something recently that suprised me, a poll was taken and said that 65 percent of Israeli’s are atheists , so yea not all Jews are waiting for the Messiah, the atheist jews are just waiting to die i guess. but the jews (like the ones you mentioned) which hold to the traditional beliefs , that believe the Torah to be the word of God are waiting for there Messiah, and these beliefs in the Messiah are based on PROPHESY in the Old Testament. Its not “retroactive” its called prophesy. There problem is there Messiah already came and they killed him. ask them why the believe a messiah is coming? they will tell you its in the scriptures, then ask them what scriptures? there are hundreds, Isaiah 7:14,9:6, and all of chapter 53,
        Micah 5:2,
        Zechariah 9:9
        and Psalm 22:16-18
        just a few

      • FoxyOutFoxYa   On   October 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm

        Dear sir. Please be a Jew before commenting anymore of what you know about them.

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